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Male Townsend's Warbler

(232 views)
by Terry Costales

Mr. Townsend is what we call him. This bright and cheery bird in the midst of gray winter. I look forward to seeing him each morning.

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Female Townsend's Warbler

(230 views)
by Terry Costales

A male Townsend's warbler had been coming to the feeder for a couple of months but this was the first time I saw a female there.

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Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

(228 views)
by Terry Costales

One of my backyard favorites is the Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I've only seen the "crown" once. A sunny day, a few weeks ago, there were a lot of birds at the feeders and this littlest of all displayed his displeasure. I doubt any of the others even noticed.

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Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata)

(168 views)
by Terry Costales

Four turtles sunned themselves just across the pond in the weak afternoon sunshine.

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Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

We saw many of these Marbled Godwits that day on the slough. This one is just about to take flight.

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Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

A closer look at pelicans on the cliff face.

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California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

King of the mountain and he knows it.

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California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

A very young sea lion was sleepily curious about his observers.

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Snowy Egret and Great Egret

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

The larger Great Egret was stalked by the smaller Snowy Egret.

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Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

Looking at this crow's feet you can really see the dinosaur common ancestor. I'm grateful most birds are small as I wouldn't want to try to photograph a crow the size of a T-rex.

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Raft of Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

For an unforgettable wildlife experience, I highly recommend the Elkhorn Slough Safari in Moss Landing. We saw over one hundred sea otters, almost eighty harbor seals and dozens of sea lions very up close and personal. This photo shows a raft of about eighty sea otters. Raft is the official label for a bunch of otters hanging out together, looking like a raft. In addition to sea mammals, I also photographed sixteen species of birds. The trip was two hours of wildlife bliss. There were a few . . .

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Riley

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

Riley is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. A huge name for a wonderful little dog. The King Charles Spaniel (non-Cavalier) is smaller and has a much flatter or more pug-like face. In the '20s the King Charles was bred back to its original size and look and given the Calvalier addition to its name.

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Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

This photo shows a sea lion swimming in the late afternoon sunlight beneath the wharf in Santa Cruz. Lovely light on a lovely animal.

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California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

Close up of a male sea lion. According to Wiki, "Zalophus californianus" means "Californian big-head" because a male grows a crest of bone on top of his head that causes a bulging forehead.

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Stellar's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri )

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

Is the Stellar's Jay a blue bird with a charcoal top or a charcoal bird with a blue bottom?

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Green-winged Macaw (Ara chloropterus)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

The Green-winged Macaw goes by many names: Greenwing Macaw, Red and Green Macaw and Green Wing Macaw. They are one of the largest and gentlest of all the Macaws.

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Common Loon (Gavia immer)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

The loons that day seemed to stay well away from our boat. I was only able to get close enough for this one photo. This is a Common Loon in winter plumage.

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Great Blue Heron

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

Across the slough and in the tops of a grove of distant trees was a colony of nesting Great Blue Herons. Four adult herons and many more nests were visible.

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Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)

(158 views)
by Terry Costales

A male Brewer's blackbird was showing off its glorious purple sheen.

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African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata)

(156 views)
by Terry Costales

A very large tortoise with an imposing look.

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Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta)

(156 views)
by Terry Costales

Lemurs are one of my favorite mammals. Every house in heaven should have one.

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Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus)

(156 views)
by Terry Costales

A Western Squirrel scavenging on the ground, glimpsed through the foliage. A nice sun-dappled look.

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Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus)

(156 views)
by Terry Costales

A handsome male blackbird perched on a branch.

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Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

(156 views)
by Terry Costales

Sea Lions swam in and out of sunlight and shade beneath the wharf in Santa Cruz.

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Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

(156 views)
by Terry Costales

This cormorant scooped up a beakful of water plants to build its nest and then flew off.

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